Tuesday, November 29, 2011

That Time of Year

Tree is up, presents are bought and doing OK.

Christmas humor from the 50's

Or memories of the 70's

And for our politicians of today

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shot Out of a Cannon

Holidays have started and though a little exhausted, I am doing OK.

Feeding frenzy of the mind.

During this time of year we find ourselves running in so many directions.  Got to do, got to go, got to make everybody happy, got to, got to, got to!  This year, I thought things would be much easier since I am no longer a part of the working world and free time, which used to elude me in the past, is now a big chunk of my life.  This would be the year when things would all get done in a more orderly and stress-free environment.   I would have time to do things at a slower pace, I would enjoy the season and life will be beautiful!  However, what I have found is that this is not my modus operandi. I manage and get so much more accomplished when I have to fit things in, when chaos surrounds me, and deadlines loom. I am at my best when I feel that my energy and brain are about to be placed in a vise and I have to figure my way out of a dilemma.  Dare I say, stress invigorates me.

In this past 11 months though, with little stimulus, I have lived in manana land.   Because there are no time constraints (unless when hubby - Mr. Time - comes home), I have put off many of the things that I was sure I would accomplish.  At night time, I think of what great task I will do the next day, and when tomorrow rolls around, I decide that I will put it off till the next tomorrow.  For many of my plans, that day has has not come around.  However, the holidays are here and I really do have a deadline. I need to make Christmas happy for my family (my own obsession), my wonderful California family will be visiting, and  decisions on what new electronic gadgets I should buy my grandchildren are looming.  To add to this I got a volunteer job last week, that requires me to think, make decisions, and contribute to the good of a community.  I also decided that after a year of failing eyesight, that I would do something about it and it will include a small surgery.  All this now, no manana.  Oh, how glorious these days will be, I will be useful again, I will be back on the treadmill , I will become zombie like.   Yes, I will complain, I will curse the damn tree, I will feel that I need to do more, I will be exhausted.  That is who I am and it feels good to be home again.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Getting The Bird

Cooking and cleaning but I am doing OK

It's just not the same.

Two of my four children are vegetarians. I tried to make this meal one year.  It squeaked when I cut into it and gave me the shudders. 

There will be no tofurky on my menu, but I will make a special vegetable main course for my youngest daughter.  My California daughter and her family, who will not be with us, will probably sit down at their table and enjoy their veggie fowl and all the trimmings.   It's just not for me, I don't like my birds to squish.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Photo: A wild turkey

 He's a beauty!  Now I feel guilty.

Friday, November 18, 2011


My brain is turning into playdough, but doing OK

When doing my "10 things about me that you did not know" post, I forgot the second half of the challenge.  I was to pass this on to seven other people so they also can reveal their deepest, darkest secrets.  When I read Austan's post (Austanspace), I noticed that she listed 10 facts,  but for the Versatile Blogger award, you only need 7.  Austan combined two different awards into one, and I followed suit.  This post has been going around for quite a while now so those I might list may have already spilled the beans about themselves.  Also, if you do not wish to do this (what, you have a life?), don't worry  There will be no little leprechauns to take away your first born, a mole will not appear on your nose, and  you will not have to live with guilt for the rest of your life if you do not want to to participate.   All thong stories will be greatly appreciated.

Flying into the Light

Chatty Crone

The Medicare Mom

Brand New Day

coming home to myself

The Musical Gardener


The rules are to write 7 unknown facts about youself (like Austan and I, you can expand upon it to 10, or 50 if you please) and then ask 7 others to do the same.  I am sure with the holidays coming up, you will have plenty of time to do this.

Pass it on!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Me, Myself and I

It's a real November day here, but I am doing OK
Austan of Austanspace  was kind enough to think of me with this Versatile Blogger Award.  Since I have lived a life that some may say rivals that of any of the Kardashians, I want you to be prepared with all your oohs, and aahs.

So here I go with my list of 10 things you might not know about me:      (Sound the trumpets!)


1. My spice cabinet contains seasonings that I have had for over one year, well, maybe two, some might be three, but I am positive they are all less than 10 years old.  When did A&P go out of business?

2.  I have two sizes of clothes in my closets. They are my pre-Weight Watchers and goal weight wardrobes.  I "bounce" between them every two years.

3.  I am an introvert in an extrovert's body.

4.  As a child,  I was a thumb sucker.  I was contented then. When I am older and frail and have been put into a home, I hope they give me a Binky.

5.  I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.  The love part is having my family around, the hate thing is putting up the damn tree that I have to have perfect.  I keep adjusting things till the day I put it away.

6. I used to be covered in freckles, now my skin doctor refers to them as "maturity spots".   Sounds better than liver spots.  Like the notches on a belt,  my hands are beginning to show the notches of my life.

7.  In the past few years I have grown 2 new breasts, one under my right arm, the other on the left.  The newer ones are definitely perkier than what  the originals have become. 

8.  I love sad, touching movies, especially old ones like Beaches, Fried Green Tomatoes, and  Steel Magnolias. I went through a half a box of tissues watching The Notebook last week. 

9. I am still close to my first friend who I first met at age 3.

10.  Hard to believe, but I have never worn a thong.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hubby has an iPhone, Lordy, Lordy!

Have lost 12 lbs, and doing OK.

Old dogs can still learn new tricks.

Even though hubby and I were very involved with the computer age of the last few decades of the 20th century, we have been left behind in the ever-changing technology of the past 10 or so years.  There is no time to learn anything, because the day after we buy the latest new gizmo,  they are offering a "new improved model" and then back to the dark ages we go. It has come to the point that I really don't want to learn "the next best thing", I just want to know how to do the small things in life like turning on the TV, answering a phone, or watching a movie at home.   It is a little discouraging to have to ask one of my adolescent grandchildren to help me out, and, at times,  I feel so incompetent that I just blank out.  It's ironic that just as I have come to a point in my life that I want to slow down, the world is going by me at the speed of light.

For my hubby's birthday last week, our children presented him with an iPhone.  At first I thought it was a bad idea to put this contraption into the hands of us who are in a technological fog and can't figure out how to even insert a DVD disk.  However, hubby was very enthusiastic, but all I could think of was listening to his frustration as he tried to answer the phone.  To my surprise, he played with it, picked out his ring tones, figured out how to find out about the weather (old way being - looking out the window), has signed on to iTunes and was looking forward to getting into the "app" world.  He has even made and received calls!!!!  I am proud of him, but that leaves me as the only one in the family who is appless. So I just went ahead and tried hubby's iPhone.  Woweeee, this is way cool!!  It is not hard at all.  Here I thought I was an old fart, out of touch, living in the 90's, but this little phone is fantastic.  I am a convert.  It is time for me to get into this "i" world, so my next adventure will definitely be an iPad.  I think that as long as I don't have to load a disk, use three remotes, choose between video 1, 2, 3, or 4, I will be OK.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

I am a shameless, bragging grandma, and I am doing OK.

 At the end of summer, my family and some friends went to St. Peter's Village, a 19th century industrial /mining "company" town, where, in many ways, time has stood still. It is a lovely walk-about place that has some great trails and woods to explore.   French Creek, a lovely meandering waterway that borders it, bubbles over the massive granite boulders and is the town's main tourist attraction.  In the summer,  young, coming-of-age boys travel here to prove their manhood (or stupidity) by jumping off the rocks and cliffs into small pools of water.  Yes, it's illegal and very dangerous, but that does not stop the many generations of youth that have come to show off their masculinity and bravery.  Some have paid a terrible price for their recklessness.

As you can see by the picture, this is a very small village, encompassing only four to six tenth of a mile.  However, it has a  lovely inn, a great bakery, a luscious ice cream parlor, a glass blowing store, a winery and some craft shops.  Because of it's out-of-the-way location, it only thrives in the spring, summer and fall. During a nice weekend, the town, although busy but never overcrowded, is a destination point for us. 

On this particular day, we were only going there to partake of the good food and atmosphere of the outdoor dining at the inn. Three of our grandchildren were with us and while the adults hobnobbed with each other, the kids, at their own table, had a great time giggling, playing cards and enjoying the music being played by the restaurant's performer, a young guitarist and vocalist, named Chris Lebresco (http://www.chrislebresco.com) .  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of my granddaughters walk up to Chris and request that he play a specific song. Within a few minutes, this is what we witnessed.

My 10 year old  granddaughter has been teaching herself the guitar for about a year.  She has learned much of what she knows on You Tube.  She has so many talents and we are always in awe of her.  However, what impressed me this day was her confidence in getting up in front of about 50 or so  strangers and putting herself out there.  She took the opportunity and ran with it, smiling the whole way through it. After all my years, I still don't think I could do such a thing.

All of us remember some of those special  kindnesses that are bestowed upon us.  It might not have been a big deal to the benefactor, but for those who receive, it could be monumental and will be remembered forever.  Just a few minutes in your life, a smile, a gesture, a good word, a caring touch,  can impact someone deeply.  This young man,  Chris Lebresco, gave up his time in the spotlight to allow a little girl a moment in the sun.  She was so joyous that day, it will be something she (and I, her teary-eyed grandma) will never forget.

Hope this video works

The next Stevie Nicks playing one of her original compositions

Our future guitarist/songwriter is now taking lessons from a music teacher.  We know that she will be a success at whatever she chooses to do in life, not only because of her talents, but because of her brave and beautiful heart.

"There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in."
Graham Greene  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hope Springs Eternal

Getting warmer and doing OK

The Spirit Within Us All
The middle-Atlantic and northeast corner of the US had a surprise blizzard last weekend that wreaked havoc all around.  Homes were damaged, power was lost, and people were hurt.   It was not a storm that anyone would have expected to happen in October, but it did. The weather bureau had predicted it a few days earlier, but most of us thought it could not happen.  Snow in October was almost unheard of in Pennsylvania. We anticipated that maybe we would have some flurries, but not an 8 hour scenario.

Sun Impatiens during storm
In these days when negativism prevails and bad news always seems to be in the forefront, we can allow ourselves to buy into a cynical way of thinking.  

 On Saturday, I heard and saw my lovely ornamental Bradford Pears come down, and watched as the white flakes engulfed my remaining flowering plants. On Sunday, I was greeted by the welcome sight of sunshine and warmth.  I found that of the four trees that I thought were completely gone, three of them had only lost large branches and will possibly be OK.  Then I looked around at the plants that had been covered in snow and sleet the day before. They were now standing up straight and many of their their blooms were still there.  Yes, they looked the worst for wear, but they saw the sunshine and came to life.

After the storm - Beaten up, but still standing!

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them?
Rose Kennedy 

If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.
Frank Lane

Where flowers bloom, so does hope.
Eleanor Roosevelt
(also attributed to Lady Bird Johnson)
Down but not out.

Life has its difficult moments, and, at times, can be extremely agonizing, but  how we accept and deal with the negativism and circumstances is up to us.  It can crush us and give us reasons to be hard-hearted or we can try to move on and look for a silver lining. 

Standing strong

The sun will come out tomorrow.

If the most delicate blossom can battle against the storm, so can we all.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never Is, but always To be blest:
The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man